Bolsover District Council and NE Derbyshire District Council have developed a strategy to bring forward council-owned sites for residential development. The package includes Housing Revenue Account (HRA) sites and General Fund (GF) sites. The aim is to deliver 100% affordable housing on HRA sites, partly cross-funded by market housing on the GF sites.
Tibbalds CampbellReith was appointed to provide advice on bringing the sites forward for development. With over 30 sites to consider, we are leading a rolling programme over 4 years. Each site is considered in a two-stage process. The first stage is undertaken to a tight timescale and budget and provides:
- a review of planning policy and urban design constraints and opportunities;
- an engineering review of vehicular access, utilities, ground conditions and flood risk;
- for GF sites, an analysis of the local residential market;
- for HRA sites, liaison with the Council to establish housing need;
- a viability assessment of development options; and
- recommendations for next steps.
Our team includes CampbellReith, consulting engineers, and Aspinal Verdi, property and regeneration consultants.
The recommendations are tailored to the specific issues of each site, and next steps have included:
- securing outline planning consent of GF sites prior to marketing the site to developers;
- releasing the site to the regional Developer Panel as part of a package of affordable housing sites;
- undertaking further feasibility work prior to taking the site forward to fully establish the nature of constraints; and
- where the site is not suitable for residential development, recommending alternative routes.
The second stage for each site involves completing the recommended next steps. Tibbalds has led the process of:
- submitting outline planning applications;
- undertaking further feasibility work; and
- producing and agreeing Development Briefs with planning officers for inclusion in the tender pack to the Developer Panel.
This project is an excellent example of how a proactive approach by the Local Authority can deliver much needed housing in an area of low values and high housing need.